LEARNING PYTHON AND DEVELOPING A GAME

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As I mentioned in my Surviving Lockdown post, I started upskilling on Python, and when upskilling on a new programming language, I usually do a project to build on and enforce the things I am learning.

For my Python-based project, I decided to use PyGame to develop a small game. One piece of advice I can offer when developing a game is that it is better to develop a small and basic game that you finish than a large and ambitious game you never complete. I believe everyone who has tried some form of game development has at least one over-ambitious project they never completed, so it is better to start small.

The game I developed is called “Space Octopus Invasion” and here is a video of the game in action:

The tools and resources I used in the development process are as follows:

  • Trello
    I used Trello for task tracking and planning.
    trello
  • PyCharm
    PyCharm is my favorite Python IDE developed by JetBrains, and it offers a free community edition.
    pycharm
  • PyInstaller 
    A great utility to package a python application into an executable file.
  • InstallForge 
    A free installer maker that allows you to create a professional-looking setup wizard to install your game.
  • GameDevMarket.net
    I am not an artistically inclined person, and typically I use art, sound, and music assets when developing a game, I recommend GameDevMarket.net as they have a great selection of assets available.

The Installer for the game can be downloaded here: Installer.

And the source code can be downloaded here: Source Code.

LEARNING PYTHON AND DEVELOPING A GAME

MOVIE REVIEW – INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE

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Indie Game: The Movie is a Documentary Film initially released in 2012. It takes a look at the Indie Game industry and follows the creators of three successful indie games at various stages of the game development process.

The main indie games followed throughout the film are Super Meat Boy developed by Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, Braid created by Jonathan Blow, and finally, Fez created by Phil Fish.

Around 2008 a surge in the number of indie games released into the market started, mainly due to the rise of digital distribution channels, which removed the barrier of entry related to physical distribution indie developers struggled to overcome in the past. This growth in the indie games released has resulted in a healthy and robust indie game industry today, filled with many passionate and driven people chasing their dreams.

The film features numerous interviews with these individuals throughout the development process and gives incredible insight into the enormous passion, sacrifices made, and challenges faced by Indie Game Developers. Throughout the numerous conversations with these indie game developers, one thing becomes abundantly clear, and that is that the games they work on are far more than simple games, but rather a way of deep and meaningful self-expression, sharing a part of themselves and exposing personal vulnerabilities.

Indie Game: The Movie is a must-see film for anyone interested in the video game industry or game development in general, and it is one of the best films on the topic.

MOVIE REVIEW – INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE

BOOK REVIEW – MASTERS OF DOOM BY DAVID KUSHNER

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Masters of Doom tells the story of the formation of ID Software, one of the most influential companies in gaming. It focuses on the stories of the four founders, John Romero, John Carmack, Adrian Carmack and Tom Hall.

Covering everything from how and where they crew up, to how they got involved in game development, to how they met and started ID Software and eventually as most of them left ID Software, what came next for them.

The book covers everything from the early days when they worked at SoftDisk and started Ideas from the Deep (Later renamed to ID Software). Where they worked on Commander Keen and how they constantly evolved, creating revolutionary game after game, from Wolfenstein 3D to Doom to Quake, transforming the industry and what people thought possible along the way.

This book is by far my favourite video game related book, and I cautious writing any more regarding its contents out of fear of spoiling something. But if you are in any way interested in video games give this book a try. It is an amazing book and comes highly recommended.

BOOK REVIEW – MASTERS OF DOOM BY DAVID KUSHNER